What a week, and especially what a weekend! One media outlet claimed one source says that Coach Whittingham is leaving the U after fighting with Chris Hill, then another outlet with another source said he was staying. It was about as eventful of a weekend since Urban Meyer was being courted by Notre Dame and Florida back in the fall of 2004.
Finally, today, after multiple requests from fans and alumni for a statement, Utah Athletic Director Chris Hill issued a statement about Coach Whittingham:
As the athletics director, it is my job to meet with our head coaches to address aspects of their programs that can be improved. Coach Whittingham and I met twice in person this week for this reason. I want to reassure our fans and recruits that Kyle Whittingham is our head coach and any rumors to the contrary have no validity. As for Kalani Sitake, I am sorry we could not retain him as our defensive coordinator. Prior to the bowl game I offered him a three-year contract worth $750,000 a year plus bonuses that brought it to $800,000. Thank you for your interest and passion for Utah football. Sincerely, Chris Hill
This is a statement to ease the minds of fans, as well as recruits. Currently it is a dead period in recruiting, meaning no contact between coaches and recruits, but with social media, the sooner the Utes can get ahead of any negative recruiting the better. Hopefully we hear a statement from Coach Whitt at some point, but it wouldn't surprise me if we didn't.
I've always been in the camp of wondering why everyone was freaking out. Sure the loss of both coordinators was a shock to the system, and I wouldn't be surprised if Whitt and Chris Hill had a bit of a spat, but for Whitt to get angry and leave seemed far fetched to me. Also, I heard from people that the rumors were false, so it's nice to see the AD to come out and state as much.
What really stood out in this press release was Hill acknowledges the offer that he extended former Utah defensive coordinator Kalani Sitake. The offer that he extended was not small, either. Although, it would have been interesting to see how many years were being offered.
Now, Coach Whittingham can turn and focus on the next OC and DC to run both sides of the ball, and he can start to plan on beating Jim Harbaugh in his debut with Michigan, at Rice-Eccles Stadium next fall.